Small business owners usually focus on one of three areas of the business: addressing employee issues that can create problems and reduce service effectiveness, enjoying the passion for the task of creating their products, and making sure cash flow is in good shape.
Marketing for the small business owner is frequently tossed together with what monies they have left over after everything else has been taken care of. Of all businesses, small businesses have to be more savvy about using their marketing dollars than any other sized business.
Here are three small business marketing mistakes that will kill a small business and exhaust a small business owner.
Failing to have a plan in place to get new business
Small businesses need to have a specific marketing budget and annual plan for promoting products and creating opportunities to purchase those products. Attracting new business, regardless of how many loyal customers you have, is critical to keeping the customer pipeline flowing to build your revenue and customer base. Marketing brings people in. The quality of the service, product and price will keep them coming back.
When designing your marketing plan, keep in mind when high season is for your business, when people are most interested in your products. Consider whether you are building brand recognition, promoting a specific product or generally educating your community on what you have to offer. A properly planned marketing program will be a great investment and not a dreaded expense.
Not nurturing the new customers/clients they do get
Let’s say your marketing plan is working. In fact, you have seen a significant increase in new customers coming through your doors. That is great! Be careful not to fall into the trap of moving all your marketing focus to what’s working and forget how to keep those you do attract.
Marketing to retain customers and turn them into a foundation of loyal customers (and free salespeople as they tell everyone else how great your products are) is every bit as important as getting people in the door for the first time.
Retention marketing comes in the form of loyalty programs, insider specials, freebies, and individual recognition. Treating your customers as the best thing to ever happen to your business (they are), and they will keep coming back to your business.
Marketing as an afterthought
Many of my clients struggle with social media marketing. Older owners find it distracting to deal with, so they delegate it to younger people who aren’t as committed as the owners to crafting the right message.
Those who properly use social media messaging and boosted posts are seeing real value in their marketing dollars invested. Don’t let the many facets of marketing burden you. A solid workable plan while understanding how marketing best fits your small business will have great returns and will be an integral part of feeding your bottom line results. If marketing is simply an expense, you are doing it wrong.
Marketing should always be an investment with solid returns for your business.